Musical Background

     A Philippine born American tenor received his training at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under the tutelage of English tenor Richard Lewis and American soprano Margaret Harshaw and later from Prof. John Lester. While still a student in his second year of training, he won First Prize in the Marian Anderson International Singing Competition in Philadephia. Two years later he was the Third Prize winner in the ARD International Singing Competition in Munich, Germany, which helped launch his career in Europe. He received his first contract from the Municipal Opera of Trier, Germany. After a few years of apprenticeship in a small German opera house, he received an offer from Augsburg and then finally to Frankfurt where he remained a full member of the ensemble for more than 10 seasons. He has since appeared there as a guest artist.


Stage Performances

      He has also appeared at more than 45 opera houses in Germany including Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich and Stuttgart and in many European houses in Antwerp, barcelona, Basel, Glasgow, Graz, Madrid, Vienna, and Zurich. In the United States he has appeared in Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia and Miami. He made his New York City Opera debut in the role of Fernando in Verdi's "Atilla". After the fall of the "Iron Curtain", he was the first Asian-American singer to be invited to sing at the Prague State Opera (formely Smetana Theater) in Prague, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic. What made this invitation so special was the fact that he was singing the role of Otello in Verdi's "Otello", an opera never produced in Prague during the communist regime. In September 1994 he was invited to sing the same role in Verdi's "Otello" in Yokohama, Japan with the Japan Metropolitan Opera. In June of 1995 he was invited to sing in Beijing, China for the 20th Anniversary of the diplomatic ties between The Republic of China and the Philippines. That same year he was invited to sing at the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations. He was also invited to sing for His Royal Highness Prince Edward of England during his visit to Marbella, Spain. In April of 1995 he sang the role of Manrico in Verdi's "II Trovatore" in concert version with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haiva, Israel. In 2002, he sang the role of Calaf in Puccini's "Turandot" in Anchorage, Alaska. 2005 he was invited by Plácido Domingo to cover him in a "Triple Bill" (2nd Act of Giordano's "Fedora", and the 4th Act of Verdi's "Otello") in the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Opera in Washington DC. In the same year he made in San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Florestan in Beethoven's "Fidelio".

      His repertoire spans the whole spectrum of the tenor voice. He began his career in the lyric role of Ernesto in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and now sings the dramatic role of Otello in Verdi's "Otello". He has sung over 70 major roles inlucind those from several classical operettas such as Barinkay in Strauß' "Der Zigeunerbaron" (The Gipsy Baron), Paganini in Lehar's "Paganini", Camille de Rosillon in Lehar's "Die Lustige Witwe" (The Merry Widow) but his most performed role is that of Prince Sou Chong in Lehar's "Das Land des Lächelns" (The Land of Smiles). In this role he has appeared in some 30 different productions in well over 500 performances.

      His present operatic repertoire includes the Puccini roles of Cavaradossi in "Tosca", Calaf in "Turandot", Luigi in "Il Tabarro", Don José in Bizet's "Carmen", Samson in "Samson et Dalilah", Florestan in Beethoven's "Fidelio", Canio in Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci", Turiddu in Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana", Hoffmann in Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann", Bacchuss in Strauß's "Ariadne auf Naxos", Hoffman in the Verdi roles of Riccardo in "Un Ballo in Maschera", Don Alvaro in "La Forza del Destino", Radames in "Aida", Manrico in "Il Trovatore" and Otello in "Otello".

      Alongside his operatic and operetta career, he has been active on the concert and oratorio states as well. He has performed with many orchestras in Europe, America, and Asia. Among them are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bavarian Radio and TV orchestra, Frankfurt Radio and TV orchestra, Belgian Radio and TV orchestra, The Austrian Radio and TV orchestra, The Israel Philharmonic orchestra, The Philippine Philharmonic orchestra. He has sung Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony", Berlioz "Requiem", Bruckner's "Mass in e-minor", Haydn's "The Creation", Händel's "The Messiah", Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde", Puccini's "Te Deum", and Verdi's "Requiem".


      In spite of his many successes, Tony, as friends fondly call him has never forgotten the less fortunate in our society. He has given countless fundraising concerts to help those in need. Most recently in Washington DC at the Washington Hebrew Congregation co-sponsored by the National Cathedral together with Metropolitan Opera mezzo Barbara Dever for the tsunami victims in Indonesia and the typhoon victims in the Philippines.

      He has had the privilege of working with many well-known conductors. Pablo Casals, Herbert von Karajan, Giuseppe Patane, Eugene Ormandy, Max Rudolf, Alberto Erede, Sir John Pritchard and Michael Gielen.

      In March 2001, Central Philippine University confirmed the honorary Doctor of Music degree for his extraordinary achievements in the field. In 2007, he was awarded The Presidential Order of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Music by President Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo of the Philippines.